Gut Reactions

For this exercise, you will be conducting a 20-minute interview. The goal of this exercise is to show that you can apply and recognize the techniques we have learned throughout the semester. I will be watching in particular for the skill that we decided to focus on during your first interview. When you bring your video to my office for review, I ask that you take charge of that encounter and present the video and your own critique.


Cover Sheet

  1. Identifying Information

Give a brief statement describing the client (using fictitious name and identifying as such) or initials; race, ethnicity, gender; the context of her/his present situation (family composition, living arrangements, employment, education, etc.); physical and emotional presentation; reason for and source of referral.

  1. Purpose of Interview and Presenting Problem(s) Give a clear, concise, specific statement in relation to the purpose of the interview. What does the client identify as her/his main needs and problems? Use the client’s words as closely as possible.
  2. Observation

Give your general impressions of both the physical and emotional climate at the beginning of the interview and more specifically, its impact upon the client. This requires that you describe and reflect upon the feelings and attributes that you bring to the relationship that may have contributed to the emotional climate of the interview.


  1. Instructor’s Comments
  2. Interview Process

This part of the recording is devoted to the actual (verbatim from MEMORY) accounting of the interaction between you and the client during the interview. Use C: (for client) and W: (for worker). The following is to be included:

A description of how the interview began.

Include any significant non-verbal communication (yours and clients) at various points during the interview that you picked up on while reviewing the video or remembered taking place.

  1. Gut Reactions

This is a feeling reaction you have to something you or the client said in the interview. It may have been something unanticipated or said in a way to which you found yourself reacting. State your reaction in this column and process or make sense of your reaction in the analysis section.

  1. Analysis

Your analysis, which is based upon the facts developed and diagnostic thinking, integrates course content and reflects your understanding of the interaction. This requires assessment of what went on during the interview and some understanding of it. Comment on culturally relevant factors as they might apply to the client’s relationship to you, the situation, or how this factor affected your approach.

The following points/questions are for inclusion on the process recording form in this section. Your comments should be opposite the client/worker content being analyzed. Using brief comments:
• Identify specific social work skills and/or techniques, learned in this class that you used during the interview. Why did you use them? (tasks for the beginning of an interview, Types of questions, transitions, info. gathering skills, attending skills
• Identify specific social work skills and/or techniques, learned in this class that you should have used in the interview. Why didn’t you use them and what would have been accomplished differently had you used them?
• Identify stages in the problem-solving process as you move through them.

  1. Summary: Using a narrative format, reflect the following information
    What were the strengths and weaknesses in your practice during the interview?

Evaluate your effectiveness in the helping process and reflect on skills and techniques you did and did not use in specific parts of the interview.

What people or resources do you and the client need to involve in order to bring about the change(s) sought?

What would you think about doing next with this client?

NOTE: It is requested that you do not use actual names in recordings, rather fictitious names or initials should be used in order to protect confidentially.
Process Recording Form